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NCAA Is Considering A Couple Of Major College Football Rule Changes

a wide shot of the rose bowl game

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The NCAA is reportedly considering changes to a couple of major college football rules this offseason.

ESPN reported late on Tuesday night that the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee will be considering changes to both the targeting rule and the overtime setup in college football.

The group discussed several other aspects of college football and ways to make the sport better moving forward, according to ESPN.


Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, talked at length during the meeting about changes the coaches proposed during their own convention earlier this month. The AFCA unanimously supports a model that puts targeting fouls into two separate categories: targeting 1 for hits without malicious intent, and targeting 2 for more egregious hits. Targeting 1 would carry a 15-yard penalty and no ejection or suspension; targeting 2 would result in automatic ejection and possible suspension.

Lyons said the way targeting is called on the field and the way it is reviewed in the replay booth are also up for further discussion and review. The committee recommended further study by the football rules committee and football competition committee during their meeting in February.

The overtime rules, meanwhile, could also be changed. The discussions on the overtime rules come, in part, due to that crazy Texas A&M-LSU game that went to seven overtimes at the end of the 2018 regular season.

As for the overtime rule, Lyons said that is something the oversight committee wants the rules committee to study further in the wake of the seven-overtime game between LSU and Texas A&M this past season.

Though only a handful of games went beyond a few overtimes during 2018, Lyons said player safety is at the forefront of any possible tweaks to the overtime format, in which both teams get a possession at the 25-yard line and teams must go for two after touchdowns starting in the third overtime. He reiterated any change would rule out allowing games to end in a tie.

College football changing its overtime rules would be somewhat ironic considering what's been said after the NFL's conference championship games. Most believe the NFL - not college football - is the league that should have to change its overtime rules in the wake of what's happened.

You can view ESPN's full update on the potential rule changes here.